Apple Watch and MacBook

I don’t understand why the press is talking about the 18-carat $10K+ Apple Watch as though it's a big deal. Who cares if someone with that kind of money to spend, spends it on a watch? And just because an expensive version of a product exist does not mean the average consumer should feel slighted. We could be discussing the $400-$600 “consumer-friendly” options. This price tag means the Apple Watch may not be a mass consumer product but … neither were iPhones when first announced 8 years ago.

I agree with some of my friends. The Apple Watch is not for me at this time. I don’t yet have a compelling use case for such a device and can’t justify the spend.

I could, however, change my mind in a few months when I start to see hands-on reviews of the Dexcom G5 glucose monitor from people with T1 diabetes who’ve connected it to the Apple Watch. My impression is that the Apple Watch is like having a limited set of the core features of iOS on the wrist. It’s got a voice commands, social messaging, calendar and notifications. The ability to view and respond to these, even in a limited way, from my wrist is compelling when I add in the medical monitoring aspect.

Right now, I carry in my pocket, a double-matchbox sized device — the Dexcom G4 receiver — at all times. It’s receiving data from the small transmitter and the glucose sensor under my skin. The alerts from the receiver are audible, loud and escalate in volume unless I hit the “snooze” button. To see my data, especially after hypo or hyperglycemic alert, I pull the transmitter from my pocket and hit a button. This isn’t ideal in a meeting, while driving, etc. I would love to have my readings sent quietly to my Apple Watch for quick review on my wrist. Without the medical monitoring notifications, the Apple Watch for me is a “nice to have”.

I have reservations about the new super-model thin MacBook. USB-C is an industry-standard and that Apple is using a standard is a good thing. However, having one port on the MacBook is limiting. I would have preferred two or more ports. With my MacBook Air, I have two USB and one Thunderbolt port. Despite that, I still had to invest in adapters for Ethernet, DVI, and VGA since the Air has no Ethernet port and most presentation projectors have not been upgraded to support Thunderbolt. I can charge my MacBook while connected to an external display, an external storage device of some kind all while listening to music.

With one USB-C port, how will I accomplish that? Apple is offering $80 USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter that provides a VGA port, a USB port, and a pass-through USB-C port. Apple also offers a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter that offers the same feature for HDMI. I guess that means USB-C allows device chaining. But what about connecting to Ethernet? What about connecting my FW drives? What about connecting the Thunderbolt appliance people just bought? How will this work if I need to use this MacBook in the scenario I describe above? I don’t have high hopes for the success of this iteration of the MacBook. And what the heck is going on with fanboys and wanting a 12” MacBook? What's that about?

Published via Desk App.

Apple Watch May Have a DexCom Diabetes Glucose App

It seems I may re-consider my opinions about the Apple Watch. I had written is off as too expensive for day to day use. Wristwatches tend to get scratched and dinged and the Apple Watch is expensive but not luxurious. It’s not a Rolex or Blancpain. It’s not something one would keep for a lifetime and it becomes a family heirloom.

But … if this is correct, I may be able to use the Apple Watch to help with my diabetes management. Dexcom, the company the article says makes the glucose app, is also the company that makes the Dexcom G4 Platinum CGMS that I use currently.

Designed by medical products maker DexCom, the app will track and display your glucose levels on your watch in the form of a graph, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The goal is to help diabetics easily and quickly read their glucose, or blood sugar, levels by simply glancing at the app. DexCom's glucose monitor uses a tiny sensor placed under the skin to measure glucose levels every five minutes, the Journal said. The app itself is expected to be available in April, the same time the Apple Watch itself will reach consumers.Apple Watch app will track glucose levels for diabetics

Dumb “stuff”

My affinity for analog watches doesn’t mean I dislike the concept of the smartwatch. My iPhone is one of the most incredible items I have ever owned and used. But my experience with it has also taught me that the promise of convenient notifications and relevant information is almost always paired with the reality of constant distractions, tugs for attention, and perhaps even an addiction to the “just checks”.

When I look down at my watch I know exactly what it will show me: the time.Shawn Blanc

This article reminds me of how I feel about my Dad's old Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II. The camera is almost 40 years old. The lens and pentaprism have some mould and the battery cover screw is fused to the body from repeated use. It no longer works. So why do I still have it?

The camera reminds me of a time when life was more carefree. I have vague but fond memories of my Dad taking us to the beach and snapping photos with that Pentax. When I pick it up and feel and see its worn knobs and dials all those memories come rushing back.

My Nikon D5100 and even my iPhone have more features than this old Pentax but they lack a soul. When I see my Dad's Pentax I see my Dad.